The NFU and the Transport and General Workers’ Union have worked out the 2006 wage deal, agreeing a 2.9% pay rise for standard workers which takes the statutory rate of pay to £5.74/hour.

Other new statutory rates will be:

• Grade One (Basic Trainee): £5.35/hour (from £5.05/hr)
• Grade Three (Lead worker): £6.31/hour (from £5.91/hr)
• Grade Four (Craft Grade): £6.77/hour (from £6.58/hr)
• Grade Five (Supervisory Grade): £7.18/hour (from £6.98/hr)
• Grade Six (Farm Management Grade): £7.75/hour (from £7.53/hr)

The two unions also agreed an extra day’s holiday for workers – bringing the statutory total to 23 days.

As part of the 2006 Wages Order, Sunday workers will be paid overtime rates only when it exceeds the 39-hour week. This will apply to new contracts of employment.

The Agriculture Wages Board also agreed to a pro rata allocation of Bank Holidays for part-time workers and a paternity, maternity and adoption grant of £50 at birth or adoption will replace the current provisions.

In addition age differentials at Grade One have been removed, traineeship and apprenticeship provisions have been reformed and Grade Four’s competency structures have been completed.

NFU employment issue spokesman Bob Fiddaman said: “These have been tough negotiations and, given the circumstances, I am pleased with the outcome.

“There is a lot of pressure on farmers at the moment and I think the board has understood this in coming to a decision.”

 

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